...with a husband and 5 sons, I am truly outnumbered....stories and thoughts on life from a mom in a houseful of little men!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

In Which I Reveal Why I Camped on the Bathroom Countertop: day 4

Yesterday, I mentioned that I enjoy so many critters around, most of the time.  You never know what you might see, if you keep your eyes and ears open.  Take this armadillo, for instance.  It provided us with a great science lesson on our way back from our little country post office.  I did not allow the boys to get any closer than this, and I was thankful for that, upon learning these buggers can carry leprosy.  Yeesh.
And while it's true that I tend to prefer the larger of creatures, I've been introduced to some wee ones in the South that greatly impress me.

I've been introduced to Katydid.  It's true they look just like leaves.  When this one flew away up into a nearby Maple, it was nearly impossible to see. 
Praying Mantis created quite a stir the day it showed up during our Greek root review.  How could "biblos" and "sauros" and "tele" compete with that?  We grabbed nature journals, colored pencils, and a field guide, and abruptly changed subjects.
Then there's this dear friend of ours, Garden Spider, which has since passed on.  She hung around outside our dining room window from our move-in through the remainder of summer.  After a severe thunderstorm and hail demolished her beautiful web, she promptly spun a new one a couple feet away.  Her size was shocking.  Her color riveting.  Her artwork stunning.  I had no idea that some spiders have sewing machines with zigzag.  Inconceivable.
Next in line, there's obnoxious Cicada.  I've no pictures of this guy, but my ears are ringing just thinking about him.  If you've ever been to the South, you know!  His noise, along with his thousands of counterparts, is bonafide deafening.  I don't believe I would ever get used to their serenade-of-sorts, as the Southern Old-timers tell us they have.  "Those?  Well, them there Cicadas; I've just tuned them out.  Don't even hear 'em!  heh heh!"  At any rate, I have learned to laugh when I hear the familiar "wayy-ohh-wayy-ohh-wayy-ohh" 

All these little guys, and many more, make me smile.  There are plenty of others that don't make me smile, but I'll not discuss those.  After all, this is a series on things for an Alaska Girl to love about the South.  I do, however, have one more adorable little guy to introduce to you.  Meet our friend, Five-Striped Skink.
Upon initial inspection of this property, it was understood there are lizards.  They are adorable.  At least they are now, after I've gotten used to the idea.  They come out on the hottest and sunniest of days, and bask in the sunshine. A sun-loving girl like me can really appreciate that.  They are also extremely hyper-active little guys, racing out of their hidy-holes to find the sunniest spot on the sidewalk, laying out with legs folded back comfortably for long periods like 5 seconds, then scurrying to another location, repeating, then quickly!  Hiding!  It's wildly entertaining, but I did not always feel that way. 

One afternoon, I was busy with unpacking.  I was brand-new to the South, and still felt like there was a snake or an over-sized, hairy spider around every corner, including potentially, in the house.  Let it be known that in a house full of young boys, a mama cannot let them see her sweat.  But unfortunately, they all knew I was a bit jumpy.  One of the boys, the most mischievous of all, came into the living room smiling, and with a high-pitched, almost mocking voice called,  "Mommy, there's a lizard in our house..."

"Oh Honey.  No there's not. Quit teasing Mommy."

"But Mommy, there really is a lizard in our house" he says with a nervous grin.  "Lilikoi has it!"

At that moment the light bulb went on.  The kid was not kidding.  Lilikoi.  Our kitty who does not hunt to kill, but to play.  Lilikoi, who brought in both a bird and a shrew for a play date in Alaska.  She had a lizard.  At this epiphany, she came around the corner, but she was not alone.  There was something squirming and dare I say thrashing around in and outside her mouth. 

She dropped it. 

It scurried. 

She pounced. 

I screamed. 

She grabbed it up again, and I saw something red thrashing and spinning around and around outside her mouth as she struggled to keep it in submission.  I screamed again.  Lots of excited, nervous boy laughter.  

Chaos ensued.

Picture four boys (one was napping,) running everywhere, laughing and nervous and a mama involuntarily squealing "Get it get it get it get it out dear Lord get it out dear Lorrrrrrd!"  This type of deal is not my strong suit.  I expected someone to get that thing but it was not going to be me!  

It was obvious that none of the boys wanted to grab it either, and even if they'd wanted to, how would you catch that quick and slippery little sucker?  Then I had a great idea.  I'd pick up the cat, put her head out the door, and shake her head until she released the critter.  It had worked with birds, right?  I grabbed her as the boys skittered around and about me, raucously laughing.  "Does she still have the lizard?!" I asked. I was certainly not going to look, because by then I realized that the thing I'd seen thrashing around and around?  It was a bloody stump of a tail.  All I could picture was that my beautiful, sleek-furred, calico kitty had eaten a nasty lizard tail.  Or worse, maybe it was somewhere inside the house and would be discovered at a much later date.  I'm not a fan of such surprises.


"Oh yes! She's still got the lizard in her mouth!"  Great, so I reached for the slider door, when oops!  Obviously she no longer had it.  I'm dancing around like I'm on hot coals by this time, yelling for a boy to grab the popcorn bowl.  I trapped that little bugger under a gigantic ceramic bowl and triumphantly slapped my foot on top to keep my prisoner secure.  


"Now go get Daddy!  And tell him it's an emergency!"  I was certainly not going to leave that bowl unattended.  My knight in shining armor was out on the lawn tractor, and soon a boy brought him in.  I politely excused myself, informing the attendees to this Southern side-show that I would be locked in my bathroom, on the counter top, until I was informed the ordeal was completely finished.  The last thing I wanted to see was that thing shoot out and hide somewhere where it couldn't be retrieved, or worse, get smooshed.  


The last thing I heard spoken as a daddy and four young sons surrounded a popcorn bowl and I shut the bathroom door behind me was, "Remember!  Whatever happens...stand your ground!"

After what seemed like a fairly long while, and quite a bit of cacophony, I nervously creeped out to request that the offender not be...smooshed.  I just couldn't bear the thought of that nastiness, and I wasn't exactly sure what their plan was.  They assured me they'd get it out alive.  As I turned heel, I saw something twitching to my side, and forgive me for posting, but,
Ahh yes.  I FOUND THE TAIL.  Mystery solved.  There it was, twitching away on my dining room tile.  I ran back to the safety of my counter top and prayed they would remember to clean up the carnage.

When all was said and done, Mr. Short Tail was safely transported outside.  The bloody, twitchy tail was disposed of, and I came down from the counter.  We all laughed for days.  I proceeded to tell only half the story to my facebook friends, and now, your mystery is solved also.

Something to be thankful for and to love about the South?  Sure.

"A joyful heart is good medicine..."  Proverbs 17:22

                         This is Day 4 of a 31 Day series.  You can learn more by clicking here.


sacra vim said...

Ohmy goodness!! Hysterical! "Stand your ground!" Way to coach them from the bathroom counter, my friend...I would be right there with you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for a very entertaining post! You are a very good writer!